Toddler adoption: setting up the room

Our little man's room is coming along!  We're only a floating shelf and a bookcase away from being finished.  Setting up his room has been a process in more ways than one.

Of course there's the process of painting and shopping and assembling the furniture, but more importantly- there's the process of getting your hopes up

When we first started this adoption we knew we wanted to pursue our little man's adoption, but of course we didn't know if it would happen.  Actually, we still don't know with 100% certainty that he will become our son, but somewhere along the way we started letting go of the worry and just embraced the joy.  This morning we sang It is Well with My Soul in our worship service and when we got to the lyric: though Satan should buffet / though trials should come / let this blessed assurance control / that Christ has regarded my helpless estate / and has shed his own blood for my soul.. when we got to that part I could think only one thing:

That no matter the outcome of our adoption, it will be well with soul.

It's amazing to me, that how just letting that blessed assurance control me has given me so much freedom.  Christ's control over my salvation gives me the freedom to hope and plan and dream for my family.  It gives me the freedom to put together a room for a little boy, even when the fear of what if this adoption falls through and he never comes home? threatens to undo me.

My eleventh grade English teacher once told my class that the beauty of poetry is that there is so much freedom in the form.  There is a form to poetry- many forms, in fact- form with rules and verse and boundary.  An essay is not a poem.  A paragraph is not a poem.  A book is not a poem.  To write a poem you have to stay within certain boundaries.

But don't think of the boundaries as constricting you, he said, focus on the freedom in form. 

That's the kind of freedom of feel.  Freedom to move around my life, just like I move around in a poem, knowing that Christ has all things held together.  He's got the poetry of salvation history perfectly suspended; he'll never let me fall out of verse.  Let this blessed assurance control. 

In light of this blessed assurance, I've felt the freedom to put our little man's room together.  And here are the it's-coming-along pictures:

The rocking chair in these photos is one my dad bought me when I was just a baby.  You can still see my teeth marks on the top, if you look closely.  (I actually blame my younger brother for that because I am just way too sophisticated to have ever chewed on furniture.)  You can just see a little bit of a wooden box peaking out behind the chair, but that is an old ammunition box from WWII.  John kept various toys (baseball cards, pogs (remember?!), GI joes etc) in that box when he was a child and now his own son will do the same. 
The map on the wall is by Abraham Ortelius, known as the maker of the world's first modern atlas.  The colors are so pretty; I wish maps were still made so beautifully!  John loved pouring over maps as a child and I hope our little man likes to look at the illustrations on this one as he grows.

Details we've collected, clockwise:
1) The Russian nesting doll is from my dear friend Sarah, who I met in college.  She spent a few weeks in Russia as part of a spring college class back in 2006(ish).  She brought this doll back for me.  Who would have known I'd be adopting from Russia all these years later! 
2) The lamp is a new buy.  Because who doesn't love owls?
3) The quilt on the bed was sewn by my sister when she was 16 as my going-away-to-college gift.  Yes she is super talented! 
4) And the three sailboats are actually picture-holders (will fill those after our first trip to Russia next week!)  They were the table favors at my friend Sarah's wedding (same friend who brought me the nesting doll); she was married in the fall of 2010 and when I saw them on the table I immediately thought I'm going to put these in our child's room someday.  I took mine and John's and someone else's who forgot theirs.  Maybe I didn't try very hard to remind them, okay?  I just love them. 

Putting our little man's room together has been a very meaningful experience.  All these items from the past mixed together with new ones for him to call his own... it fills my heart with hope for the future.  And when that hope is threatened to be undone by the fear of what if and failure, I breathe deeply and let the blessed assurance of my salvation control.

It is well, with my soul.



  1. What a wonderful little boys room! I think he will love it! We had (are still having) so much fun putting together Hannah's room, even though she decided to rush the process a bit :)

    1. Hi JEssica! Just caught up on your story a bit; congratulations! Glad you are still enjoying the process even though she came so early! All the best in the coming weeks and months!

  2. Kerri Thomas7/16/2012

    I can tell this boy is going to be/already is so loved by you and John. I really enjoy reading how you are progressing through this adoption both logistically as well as emotionally. Thanks for sharing, and the room is super adorable. I love how you were able to keep things from your childhoods for your own child to use.

    1. Thank you Kerri! We do love him so much already! Thanks for reading and commenting; gives me the motivation to keep writing! :-)

  3. Anonymous3/19/2014

    I know you wrote this almost 2 years ago, but I really appreciated reading it tonight. We're updating our home study right now to switch from an Ethiopia adoption to a special needs adoption from China, and I'm feeling a lot of the "what if it never happens" feelings right now. Your perspective is so encouraging to me right now!



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